Franklin man to spend 35 years in prison for meth dealing

A Franklin man will serve 35 years in prison for dealing methamphetamine and being a habitual offender.

Joseph L. Young, 44, was sentenced Monday to 25 years on a charge of dealing meth, a Level 2 felony, and received an additional 10 years for being a habitual offender, according to a Johnson County Prosecutor’s Office news release. Young was convicted of the charges on Aug. 10 after a three-day jury trial before Johnson County Superior Court 3 Judge Douglas Cummins, and admitted to the habitual offender enhancement after his conviction.

On Aug. 24, Young pled guilty to three additional counts of dealing meth, each as Level 4 felonies. He was also sentenced Monday to 10 years for each count, which will be served at the same time as the sentence for the Level 2 felony, the news release says.

Prosecutors say a Level 2 felony conviction carries a sentence of 10 to 30 years. The habitual offender enhancement carries an additional sentence of 6 to 20 years. A Level 4 conviction carries a sentence of 2 to 12 years. A Level 6 Felony conviction carries a sentence of 6 months to 2 ½ years.

Young was originally charged in the first case with three counts of dealing meth, all as Level 4 felonies, after detectives with the Franklin Police Department used a confidential informant to purchase meth from Young three separate times between August and November 2022. When detectives served the arrest warrant on Young for those charges in March 2023, they seized over 20 grams of meth found in his vehicle. This resulted in the additional charges of dealing meth as a Level 2 felony, and unlawful possession of a syringe, as a Level 6 felony, prosecutors said.

“We appreciate the tireless efforts of the Franklin Police Department in catching drug dealers wherever they ply their nefarious trade. Trying them and convicting them how we keep this poison out of our community,” Deputy Prosecutor Megan Smither said in the news release.

Johnson County Prosecutor Lance Hamner said in the news release he was pleased with both the jury verdict and the sentence.

“I hope the message we’re sending is clear,” Hamner said. “Whether you’re local or coming from another county to deal drugs, it doesn’t matter. We’re equal opportunity, here. Drug dealers in Johnson County are going to spend decades in prison.”